Mark Reads ‘Blackout’: Chapters 22 – 24

In the twenty-second through twenty-fourth chapters of Blackout, I can’t. I CAN’T. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Blackout.

Chapters Twenty-Two, Twenty-Three, and Twenty-Four

OH MY GOD!!!!

  • I remembered Sunil/spectralbovine telling me a while ago that some chapters of Blackout had been consolidated into a single review because they were really short, but it wasn’t until I looked at the Master Schedule right before starting my live reading that I realized THIS was that first point. Given the end of chapter 21, I was then instantly terrified. SOMETHING WAS GOING TO HAPPEN. SOMETHING WAS GOING TO HAPPEN.
  • “Maybe there’s something going on.” Shaun, you literally just underestimated the entirety of your future. YES. SOMETHING IS GOING ON. OH MY GOD.
  • Congrats on your lawbreaking, Mahir! I’m proud of you.
  • Okay, can we talk about people who keep their clothes looking immaculate? I am not one of these people, and I’m honestly mystified by the existence of people who can do this. I think it took me a while to realize that these people usually have a lot of money. I wear an article of clothing until I outgrow it or it rips, tears, or wears out. That means I have a lot of clothes that need repair or mending, and that also means they don’t ever look immaculate. Also, there’s a less serious explanation of this: I am supremely clumsy. I can’t help it! My coordination is messed up when I’m not perfectly concentrating on something, and food drips on my shorts, or I drop things on me, or I get chain grease from my bike all over things and in places that don’t even make sense, and this is the life I lead. So I’m jealous of you, Mahir.
  • Anyway, more on topic: It was terrifying to think of this chapter once I realized just how close the group was Georgia. Would they miss her? Pass her by? Are they the cause of the security breach warnings? Is it all coincidence? IT HURTS.
  • And then the end of chapter twenty-two hits me. Georgia is there. She’s there, and she’s grabbing Shaun’s hand, urging him to run, AND I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS MOMENT IS FINALLY HAPPENING!!!
  • But then shit gets momentarily frightening. First of all, why do the chapter headings now include the character names? I’ve understood the pattern so far: Odd chapters are Georgia, even chapters are Shaun. So as I started to read chapter twenty-three, I panicked. WHAT IF THIS WAS ANOTHER CLONE OF GEORGIA??? What if the one we’d been following the whole novel was elsewhere, and Shaun was about to rescue the wrong one. I WOULD HAVE BEEN SO DEVASTATED.
  • Thankfully, this is the same Georgia whose narration we’ve been experiencing the whole time. But this is not how Mira Grant surprises me. Georgia soon confronts two different versions of herself, including the very clone the CDC is preparing to replace her and trick Shaun. It is absolutely surreal to read about Georgia murdering a version of her own identity because I both completely understand her desire to assert herself and am disturbed that she’s forced to make a choice like this. I love how Grant describes this: “I wanted to feel bad about what I was doing. I was taking their lives away from them, and they hadn’t done anything wrong. Only it wasn’t their life. It was mine, because I was the closest thing to Georgia Mason that they were ever going to get. Call me selfish, but if I was going to die, I was going to die knowing my replacement wasn’t waiting in the wings.” And this assertion is one based on the idea that Georgia inherently accepts that clones are living people. Yes, these “subjects” are all stolen parts from the original Georgia Mason, but that doesn’t mean that Grant has to write them as nothing more than copies. The Georgia we have here in Blackout is a fully-formed human being with her own mind and consciousness.
  • Y’all, I panicked again when Georgia realized she was locked in with her own explosions. JESUS.
  • BECKS AND MAHIR GET TO SEE GEORGIA. OH MY GOD I CAN’T EVEN DEAL WITH THIS. But the best part is that I forgot that Shaun hallucinates Georgia. His shock over the fact that the Georgia whose hand he is holding is real IS INCREDIBLE.
  • Becks’s unpublished blog is upsetting (THAT’S AN UNDERSTATEMENT), but can you blame her??? Georgia died. How can there be another version of her? I don’t think there’s anything irrational with her mistrusting who Georgia is or what her intentions are. God, this is going to suck, isn’t it?
  • I don’t feel bad for Dr. Thomas.
  • I know chapter twenty-four is very brief, but I really needed to witness the reunion from Shaun’s point of view. It’s important that these overlap because Shaun’s reaction is just as meaningful as Georgia’s. So who will get the narration from here on out? Will we still switch? Will it go back to being Georgia only? Oh god, I don’t know.
  • Mahir calls Georgia’s return “impolite,” and it’s striking how incredible that statement is. These people dealt with her death, they tried to move on, and then she just shows up. That’s horrifying, y’all, and “impolite” is a great way to describe the sensation in Mahir’s terms.
  • PLEASE LET THAT FINAL EMAIL BE A SIGN THAT DR. KIMBERLY IS ALIVE. PLEASE. And Gregory, too!

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Mark Links Stuff

– I have been nominated for a Hugo in the Fan Writer category! If you’d like more information or to direct friends/family to vote for me, I have a very informational post about what I do that you can pass along and link folks to!
I have announced what the next books I am reading on Mark Reads will be, as well as updated y’all on the events, cons, tour dates, GOING TO EUROPE OH MY GOD, and general shenaniganry going on in my life. I have a similar post up on Mark Watches, detailing the next two shows I’m doing as well as the return of Double Features, and I finally explain what happened with my Vimeo account. Check these posts out!
– If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, I am doing a live reading/Mark Does Stuff event at Borderlands Books on April 21st at 5pm. Come on out! I’ll have copies of my latest book to purchase and sign.
– Mark Reads Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is now published and available for purchase! It’s available in ebook AND physical book format, and you can also get a discount for buying the ENTIRE SET of digital books: $25 for 7 BOOKS!!!
– Video commissions are open, and you can commission a Mark Reads/Watches video for just $25!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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